Sedation Dentistry: Is It Right for You?
Sedation dentistry is also referred to as sleep dentistry and is a good option for those who fear dental procedures. Sedation medications produce calmness or unconsciousness during dental procedures including tooth cleaning, invasive procedures, and more. However, the use of sedatives depends on the degree of patients’ fear.
The levels of sedation include:
- General Anesthesia – Makes you fully unconscious
- Minimal Sedation – Lets you relax without losing your consciousness
- Deep Sedation – Makes you unconscious and non-responsive
- Moderate Sedation – You may speak unclearly and not recall the procedure
Read on to learn more about sedation dentistry to make an informed decision.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
Here are some common types of sedation used in dentistry:
It can vary from minimal to moderate sedation depending on the dose received. For minimal sedation, you must take a pill an hour before the procedure. The pill induces drowsiness, yet allows you to stay awake. Local, or general anesthesia can be replaced with a large dose of pills used for moderate sedation. Patients can fall asleep during the procedure but can be awakened through a light shake.
Inhaled Minimal Sedation
You will inhale nitrous oxide (laughing gas) with oxygen via a mask placed over your mouth and nose. Your dentist regulates the amount of sedation you receive. The gas induces relaxation and weakens quickly. This is the only sedation that allows you to drive yourself home after the procedure.
Deep Sedation and General Anesthesia
You are given drugs that can make you unconscious and fall asleep during the procedure. When you receive general anesthesia, you cannot be awakened until the effects of anesthesia diminish.
Intravenous (IV) Moderate Sedation
You receive the sedation intravenously so that it can work effectively and quickly. Intravenous sedation allows your dentist to adjust the level of sedation continuously. Regardless of the sedation used, your dentist will apply a numbing medication to the area being treated to reduce pain.
Who Are the Right Candidates for Sedation Dentistry?
- People who fear dental procedures due to the associated pain and discomfort, mostly prefer sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry may also be an excellent choice for people who:
- Have a bad gag reflex
- Suffer from a low pain threshold
- Are about to undergo a major dental surgery
- Have sensitive teeth
- Feel uncomfortable to sit for hours in the dentist’s chair
- Are children who refuse to cooperate with the dentist or fear going to the dentist
Who Can Perform Sedation?
Many dentists perform minimal and moderate sedation, but only those who have completed the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) program can perform sophisticated techniques like deep sedation and general anesthesia. Some dentists appoint a dental anesthesiologist who is trained to give sedation and anesthesia to adults and children.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Yes, it is safe when done by experienced and trained dentists. You should speak to your doctor before receiving sedation if you are obese or have obstructive sleep apnea, as you may develop complications after being given anesthesia.
You can trust our trained and qualified full sedation dentist in Shoreline & Milton to perform flawless sedation dentistry. Contact us today to learn more!
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